Members of the British royal family attended a series of events celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force this morning in London, including a service at Westminster Abbey, presentation of new colours on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace and a spectacular military a flypast and feu de joie down The Mall.
The Queen led her family in a hat we saw just over a month ago. With a dark blue silk covered crown, the design features a wider-than-usual double straw brim (turquoise on top, dark blue on the bottom) with turquoise silk covered kettle upturned straight edge. The hat’s tall crown is wrapped in an overlay of diagonal pleats of overlapping dark blue and turquoise silk and the design is finished with a pair of peacock feathers at the side.
Today’s photos highlight how tall the crown on this hat is, height that, I think, puts it slightly out of proportion. Issues of shape and scale aside, I continue to admire the punchy colour scheme. Say what you will, the ensemble allowed Her Majesty to stand out in a sea of uniforms, which today, was no small task.
The Duchess of Cornwall repeated her ivory straw hat with asymmetrically peaked crown and a wide, sideswept brim trimmed in multiple layers of sand coloured straw ribbon wrapped around the base of the crown and looped into a large stylized bow at the side. The Prince of Wales wore the uniform and cap of his ranking as Marshal of the Royal Air Force.
It’s a beautiful hat on Camilla, who pulls off a head-to-hem cream ensemble better than anyone else. The pairing of this dramatic hat with the streamlined cream dress is a particularly elegant one that elegantly stood apart from the sea of navy uniforms.
The Duchess of Cambridge was in attendance, wearing a hat by theater and television milliner Sean Barrett (made famous by the wonderful hats he created for the TV series ‘Downton Abbey’). The hat’s base, in palest blue straw overlaid in two layers of net tulle veil, follows the slightly domed shape of a Juliette cap. The design is trimmed with a multi looped bow in blue straw, white silk organza flowers with tiny blue centers and tufts of blue net veil.
I love seeing Kate work with new milliners, especially such unexpected collaborations as this. There’s a lot going on on this small hat but it works beautifully with Kate’s streamlined coat and manages not to compete with the spectacular RAF Air Cadets Dacre diamond brooch. Some might argue that the hat would work better on the side of her head but I suspect, from the shape of the base that this was its intended placement and it works.
Designer: Sean Barrett. Coat by Alexander McQueen
Previously Worn: This hat is new
The Duchess of Sussex wore a new cocktail hat with completely different feel and shape to anything we’ve seen her in so far. The light-as-air design features a folded swirl of pleated navy crin supported on a flat straw teardrop shaped base with point facing down the back of Meghan’s head.
The design’s wonderful sense of movement contrasts so beautifully against Meghan’s streamlined dress, lightening the elegantly austere design. The dress’ wide, bateau neckline works so well with the hat, which appears to be almost flying on its own (a subtle RAF reference from Stephen Jones, perhaps?), and the retro feel of the ensemble fits wonderfully for this event. I think it’s an outstanding look for Meghan.
Previously Worn: This hat is new